Molex announces plastic holder and interconnect for LED arrays

Jan. 29, 2013
SSL manufacturers can utilize the Molex LED array holder to simplify the luminaire assembly process and allow for easy service.

Molex has announced a new plastic LED array mounting scheme that includes a holder or retainer for chip-on-board (COB) LED arrays along with flexible options in making electrical connections with the LED array. Manufacturers of solid-state lighting (SSL) products can utilize the retainer to simplify luminaire assembly and can use solder pads or a plastic connector to make an electrical connection between the driver electronics and the LED.

The new plastic holder was initially mentioned by Bridgelux recently when the company announced its Vero COB array product family. Bridgelux said that the molded plastic holder or body allows the substrate of the LED array to be smaller, and allows the company to manufacture the LEDs with greater throughput. Moreover, the company noted the flexibility that the holder affords design teams in using a plastic connector or solder pads to make the electrical connection.

Now Molex is formally introducing the holder, although ironically it seems to lack a formal name or model number. The holder includes thermally isolated solder pads as well as an integrated connector. For luminaire designs that utilize the connector, Molex offers the Pico-EZmate wiring harness and connector family to mate with the holder.

"This new interconnect technology is a dramatic advancement in LED light source packaging," said Jim Miller, chief sales and marketing officer at Bridgelux. "This simplifies many of our customers’ immediate system integration problems, and will help usher in the era of smart lighting systems."

The issue for Molex will be scaling the product offering to work with the many different COB products on the market. The company has to design a specific holder for each different product to make a reliable electrical connection between the holder and LED, and to provide a thermal interface that will support proper cooling of the LEDs."

Molex already has a number of holder products on the market for a variety of COB product families. The new design, however, is unique in that it enables the smaller COB substrate. And the success of the approach will depend in part on other LED array manufacturers moving to smaller substrates.